If you have happened to peruse my about the owner page, then you probably know that I am a blood clot survivor. Because of this I am a HUGE advocate for blood clot awareness. So, today I wanted to write this post to illuminate some very important statistics related to blood clots!
- Difficulty breathing
- Chest pain that worsens with a deep breath
- Coughing, or coughing up blood
- Faster than normal or irregular heartbeat
Who is at risk?
- May Thurner Syndrome (Illiac Compression Syndrome) –> This is me!!
- Hospitalization for illness or surgery
- Major surgery, particularly of the pelvis, abdomen, hip, knee
- Severe physical trauma, such as a car accident
- Injury to a vein that may have been caused by a broken bone or severe muscle injury
- Hip or knee replacement surgery
- Cancer and cancer treatments
- Use of birth control methods that contain estrogen, such as the pill, patch or ring
- Pregnancy, which includes the six weeks after the baby is born
- The use of hormone therapy with estrogen
- A family history of blood clots
- Confinement to bed or wheelchair
- Sitting too long, especially with legs crossed
- Age 55 or older
- Long-term diseases such as heart and lung conditions, or diabetes
My blood clot came out of no where. I was completely unaware that I have a non-sensical, structural anomaly in my left hip. I have May Thurner Syndrome, also known as Iliac Vein Compression Syndrome. What does this mean? It just means that unlike most of population my iliac artery runs over, rather than under the iliac vein. Why does this pose a problem? Well it typically doesn’t unless you gain weight in your abdomen, like when you are pregnant. I personally made it 40 weeks before my condition reared its ugly head.
On December 4, 2016 my left leg ballooned up to larger then my pre-pregnancy waist size. The doctors didn’t believe that I had a clot at first, testing came back negative and they believed that my daughter was just compressing the vein causing the swelling, so they induced me on December 5th and Cordelia Joy was born. My doctors continued to believe that this was the case, that birth was the solution and released me home. I called the doctor multiple times but I was told that it was normal to have swelling post part and was offered tips on how to reduce the swelling with diuretics and elevation.
I went 10 days assuming my doctors were correct. It wasn’t until I lost the ability to walk completely that I sought the second opinion of a vein specialist. At this point merely standing would cause a massive burning sensation and immense pain. On December 15th I was diagnosed with a massive DVT (Deep vein Thrombosis) that stretched from my hip to my calf. Unknown to me I also had micro clots in my lungs that were affecting my heart causing tachycardia. In a weeks time I underwent thrombolysis and a thrombolectmy to completely remove the clot from my leg. I spent a total of 4 days in the ICU, away from my newborn daughter, being pumped full of clot busting medication.
It took months of recovery to walk normally and recoup a semblance of my prior lifestyle. I am incredibly lucky to have survived, many with similar symptoms would not have. Because of this experience I reassessed my life. I chose to leave my Wealth Management career to pursue my love of design & home decor. In 2017 I started Refined Relics Designs and never looked back.
It is so important that people are aware of the seriousness of blood clots, the impact they have and how many people are really affected by them. So please know the symptoms and be your own advocate.